American Government and Politics Today

January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Law, Constitutional Law
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Chapter Three: Federalism

Learning Objectives 2

 Define three ways nations structure relations

between a central government and local units of government (unitary, confederal, federal).  Describe the historical arguments for and against federalism in the United States.  Identify and explain the division of powers between the national and state governments in the American federal system.

Learning Objectives 3

 Identify and distinguish between expressed,

implied, and inherent national powers.  Identify and distinguish the reserved from implied powers of the state.  Define concurrent powers and explain with examples.  Identify the limits on power contained in the Constitution.

Learning Objectives 4

 Explain the Supremacy Clause and its

implications.  Explain the obligations states have to each other.  Use the Court’s holdings in McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden to explain the evolution of boundaries between federal and state power.  Explain the importance of the Commerce Clause in expanding federal powers.

Learning Objectives 5

 Explain the impact of the Civil War on

federalism.  Explain the rights granted by the Civil War amendments, and their impact on federalism.  Describe dual federalism as it evolved after the Civil War.  Explain how dual federalism was replaced by cooperative federalism and how the Supreme Court’s resistance to cooperative federalism came to an end.

Learning Objectives 6

 Explain the tools of cooperative federalism,

including categorical grants and block grants.  Describe the impact of federal mandates on state and local governments.  Explain why conservatism has been associated with states’ rights and how the national government has been a force for change.  Assess recent trends in Supreme Court rulings affecting federalism.

Three Systems of Government 7

 Unitary System

 Confederal System

 Federal System

Three Systems of Government 8

Why Federalism? 9

 System retained state traditions and local

power while establishing a strong national government capable of handling common problems.  Geography made it difficult to locate political authority in one place.  System allowed people more access to government and influence on policies.

Why Federalism? 10

 Benefits of Federalism  Helps

train future national leaders.

 Provides

testing grounds for new government initiatives.

 Allows

for diverse political cultures.

Why Federalism? 11

Why Federalism? 12

Why Federalism? 13

 Arguments Against Federalism  States

and local interests can impede national government plans.

 Smaller

governmental units can be dominated by a single political group.

 Can

result in inequalities among the states

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 14

 Powers given to the national government  Powers given to state governments

 Powers prohibited to both national and state


The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 15

 Powers of the National Government  Enumerated

 Implied


Powers—The Necessary and Proper

Clause  Inherent


The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 16

 Powers of the State Governments  Reserved

Powers: According to the 10th Amendment, all powers not delegated to the national government are reserved to the states.

 The

states have police power—the authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of the people.

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 17

Concurrent Power—These powers are shared by both the national and state governments:  Power to tax  Power to borrow money

 Power to establish courts  Power to charter banks and create corporations  Power to make and enforce laws

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 18

Prohibited Powers—The Constitution prohibits the national government:  the power to impose taxes on goods sold to other countries (exports).  any power not granted expressly or implicitly to the federal government by the Constitution.

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 19

Prohibited Powers (Continued) States are also denied certain powers:  to enter into a treaty on its own with another

country.  to coin money.

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 20

 Supremacy Clause  Article

VI of the Constitution mandates that actions by the national government are supreme.

 Any

conflict between a legitimate action of the national government and a state will be resolved in favor of the national government.

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 21

Vertical Checks and Balances The federal system itself is a check on both national and state power. For example:  Reserved power of the states checks the national government.  National government can influence the states through federal grants. 

The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism 22

 Interstate Relations  Each

state is equal to another.  Article IV of the Constitution attempts to resolve potential problems between states by stipulating the following:  Full

faith and credit clause—states must honor actions of other states  Privileges and immunities  Interstate extradition  Interstate compacts

Defining Constitutional Powers—The Early Years 23

 McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

 Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

States’ Rights and the Resort to Civil War 24

 The North and South became sharply divided

over the issues of tariffs and slavery.  On December 20, 1860 South Carolina

repealed its ratification of the Constitution and withdrew from the Union.  On February 4, 1861 six states withdrew and

formed the Confederate States of America.

States’ Rights and the Resort to Civil War 25

States’ Rights and the Resort to Civil War 26

 The Civil War Amendments  Thirteenth

Amendment (1865): abolished slavery.  Fourteenth Amendment (1868): “[no] state [shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  Fifteenth Amendment (1870): gave African Americans the right to vote.

The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power 27

Dual Federalism

During the decades following the Civil War, the prevailing model was what political scientists have called dual federalism—a doctrine that emphasizes a distinction between federal and state spheres of government authority.

The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power 28

Cooperative Federalism

Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies led to the end of Dual Federalism and led to an era of cooperative federalism in order to address the vast problems caused by the Great Depression.

The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power 29

 Methods of Implementing Cooperative

Federalism  Categorical

 Block



 Federal


The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power 30

The Politics of Federalism 31

 The national government

has been a force of social change, such as in the War on Poverty programs.  States tend to support the

status quo as they protect their own power and interests.

The Politics of Federalism 32

 Federalism as a Partisan Issue  Republican

Party tends to support devolution, the transfer of power from national to state governments.

 Today

it is not clear it is as partisan an issue, as President Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act in 1996.

What If…One State’s Same-Sex Marriages Had to Be Recognized Nationwide? 33

 Traditionally, all matters involving marriage,

divorce, and the custody of children have been handled through state laws.  A few states have passed legislation that allows gay marriage or legally recognized civil unions.  In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows state governments to ignore same-sex marriages performed in other states.

What If…One State’s Same-Sex Marriages Had to Be Recognized Nationwide? 34

If the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, it would:  Force all states to recognize same-sex

marriages.  State inheritance laws, insurance laws, and adoption laws would need to be changed to accommodate same sex couples.

You Can Make a Difference: The Department of Homeland Security and You 35

 The Department of Homeland Security,

established in 2002, attempts to protect our nation against terrorist attacks through 22 unified governmental agencies and 180,000 employees.  Questions have arisen about how money is

spent by this department as Congress grants monies and the states administer them.

You Can Make a Difference: The Department of Homeland Security and You 36

 To research your state’s 2009 DHS grant

awards and total funding history, go to  Through the Citizens Corps Program, students can get involved in a number of efforts, including emergency preparedness, flood preparedness, and citizen watch groups. You can find information about local opportunities at

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